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After unpredictable markets and pricing, Freshwave set to finish strong

VINELAND, NJ — Before looking ahead to New Jersey's 2017 fall produce season, Tom Consalo, vice president of The Freshwave, reflected on the summer season to date.

"It's been an interesting summer," he told The Produce News on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 15. "There was very active demand across the board," especially on squashes and blueberries.NJfall4845Tom Consalo of The Freshwave in Vineland, NJ. Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg

As to quality, "Generally speaking, we had some weather that warranted a little closer eye and also led to some of the unpredictable markets and pricing," he said. "There was a lot of rain during the season."

Turning to New Jersey's upcoming fall produce season, Consalo said, "We're looking ahead to fall lettuce, which should start around the first week of October." He added, "We'll have the usual fall items, including all the leafy greens, all the cooking greens, herbs and then the dry items, [such as] hard squash, fennel, rapini."

Following those, The Freshwave will get into "the traditional holiday items, such as pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn," he noted.

The fall season is a key part of the Jersey deal for all concerned. Asked why it's important to The Freshwave, which is the sole marketer of all products grown by Consalo Family Farms, Consalo replied, "It closes out our home growing region and gives us a strong finish." And with the locally grown trend as significant as ever, the fall deal "lets retailers stay with the local items," he said. "A lot of people forget that we have local items through Thanksgiving."